His comments come just before Ben Bradshaw, minister for animal welfare, reportedly said a return to rationing could be the best way to control emissions from production. Farming was responsible for 9% of the UK's emissions and nearly half came from "the belching and farting of farm animals", said Melchett.
Improving diet or genetics of animals had a minimal effect on emissions, so cutting consumption was the only answer, Melchett added. "Demand for cheap meat, which is often imported a great distance, is rising. The solution is more local and organic meat, but we will have to eat less meat as well."
The organic movement does not see this as a threat, however. Tom Cowcher of Cambrian Organics said: "People may buy organic meat less frequently but it is more satisfying, tasty and better nutritionally."